How a Laser can Help You Make Putts
Aren’t “lay-zers” supposed to be mounted on sharks heads?
Sorry Dr Evil, but now we can use “lay-zers” for all sorts of things, like improving our putting.
Over time, golfers have come up with hundreds of ways to check and improve alignment to make putts. They will often use the sticks used to mark the edge of a driveway during the snowy months as alignment tools. Or a golfer might use an elevated string line to help see the line of a putt to the hole.
Those methods might be all fine and dandy, but this is the 21st century. And for as little as $10 we can now use a tool that is simple to set-up, leaves no impact on the course, and can be adjusted in seconds. At your local hardware store, you can find a laser line in the home improvement section and that might be just the thing for practicing your putting this spring.
It works better than you’d think.
Let’s talk about how we can use this “lay-zer”, what it will help with and how it can change our game. Watch this video with @ToddKolbGolf:
Okay, let’s recap that video.
Make Putts With Better Alignment
First off, we can use lasers to help improve our overall alignment. And we all know how important alignment is. The only way you’ll make a putt with poor alignment is to hit a bad putt.
We don’t want that. Let’s get our alignment figured out.
Obviously over the years, there have been a few golfers that have challenged the status-quo—for example “The Golden Bear,” Jack Nicklaus. These golfers have gotten away with less than orthodox methods and in fact flourished. We aren’t saying that these methods are wrong. However, our aim is to give the best advice to the golfer en-masse.
“The only way you’ll make a putt with poor alignment is to hit a bad putt.”
As for the average golfer, we recommend that four things are in alignment during the putting stroke; feet, hips, shoulders and clubface. By keeping in alignment these 4 things, it will greatly affect the overall outcome of the putt. The video above is evidence of that.
How the Laser Helps You Make Putts
We can use the laser line for both club head’s path and ball path. Depending on what type of putter being used, we can decide whether we are stroking the ball in a manner that will improve the outcome. Once the ball is struck, the laser line will show how well our ball comes off the clubhead and how it rolls towards the hole. It lays out a beautiful path for the ball to roll, on a straight putt.
The uses of lasers can go further than just the putting green. For example they can be used for awareness of alignment while practicing on the range. See where you’re face is aimed at address while hitting balls on the range.
So with this little tip on how to use a home improvement aid, you can sharpen up your rolls with the use of a super easy tool from a little bit of an unorthodox store.
Be sure to ask your hardware guy his handicap. Maybe he plays.
RECAP in 6 STEPS
1. Position the Laser
The first step is to set up your laser so the beam passes through the center of the cup. Be sure to leave enough space between the laser and the cup so you can putt at your desired distance; you’ll set up your put along the line of the laser.
You might also prefer to use two lasers positioned on opposite sides of the hole facing one another. If you do this, be sure to line them up with each other so they create one straight line across the center of the cup.
Next, line up your putt.
2. Putter Face Alignment
Face control is everything. If your putter face alignment is off by even one degree, the discrepancy can cause you to miss a putt from as little as eight feet. A laser will help you get a feel for precise positioning. As long as the laser intersects your putter at the center of its face, you know your putter is square with the middle of the cup.
3. Ball Alignment
You’re probably picking up on the pattern here. You want that laser intersecting the cup, the putter face, and – of course – the ball at the exact center. Use the brand name on your golf ball to help you center it with the laser. Set it up so the line passes directly over the lettering.
4. Body Alignment
Now, Jack Nicklaus does just fine with a slightly uneven stance, but most of us do best when our bodies are aligned with the shot. Now is the perfect opportunity to check your positioning. Make sure your feet, hips, and shoulders are square with the laser.
5. Make Your Putt
Once you’re all set up, let the laser guide your stroke. When you swing back, use that laser line to gauge whether you’re keeping the putter straight, or if there’s some arc in your swing. You may or may not want a little arc, depending on the type of putter you’re using, but either way, the laser will help you see the path of your club. On a face balanced putter, for example, you will want to see that laser line remain in the center of the putter for a stroke that swings straight back and straight through the putt.
6. Visualize Your Putt
The ability to visualize your shot is essential to a strong golf game. But if you’re new to the sport, seeing that precise motion in your mind’s eye might take some training. Before each swing, imagine your ball rolling down the path of the laser, into the center of the cup. This will train your mind to see that perfect putt, which will ultimately help your body make that perfect putt happen.
You don’t need to shell out big money for training aids to improve your game. You don’t even need a sunny forecast. With a laser line, you can practice your putting anytime and anywhere for as little as ten dollars.
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Have you tried training with lasers? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Join the discussion in the comments below.